(October 12, 1947 - living) U.S.A.
Thom was born in Darby, Chester County, Pennsylvania. He attended Eastern College, Baltimore, Maryland (now part of the University of Maryland) and the Charles Morris Price School in Philadelphia where he was editor of the school magazine and where he was awarded The Carrie May Price Award for Best Student Work in Journalism.
He is a regular contributor to the Gay and Lesbian Review and the Lambda Book Report. He was named a judge in the non-fiction essays/anthologies for the 2002 Lambda Literary Awards. His column, Different Strikes, in a Philadelphia mainstream newspaper [The Philadelphia Welcomat] was the first weekly out gay newspaper column in the nation. Nickels has written bylined columns, celebrity interviews, theater and art reviews and previews, features and book reviews. He is a Contributing Editor for Philadelphia's Weekly Press, the weekly architecture critic for Philadelphia Metro, and a weekly social commentary columnist for STAR Publications. His travel articles are published regularly in the New York-based Passport Magazine. His poetry is published annually in the Paris-based Van Gogh's Ear. He was awarded the AIA Lewis Mumford Award for Architectural Journalism in 2005. His two act play, "Lincoln in Louisville" is under consideration at the Actor's Theater in Louisville, Kentucky. He is currently writing an historical novel about Lincoln's stay in Louisville.
Nickels co-founded the Arts Defense League (later renamed the Coalition for Philadelphia Art), a grassroots organization instrumental in keeping Maxfield Parrish's ‘The Dream Garden' in Philadelphia after an attempted buy-out in the mid-1990's by Las Vegas casino mogul, Steve Wynn. This grassroots campaign brought media attention to the issue and served to galvanize state and city support to keep "Dream Garden' in Philadelphia. Nickels was interviewed extensively by People Magazine and the local press after forming the organization.
He was also one of the original members of the Boston Gay Liberation Front (1968-1969) and an early gay activist in the Cambridge-Boston area, hawking gay liberation newspapers in Harvard Square while working as a journalist for these publications. He'd gone to Boston to do alternative service as a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War and spent two years working at Tufts-New England Medical Center. Returning to Philadelphia in 1972, he worked as a columnist for Philadelphia's underground press and later became a founding member and poetry editor of The Gay Alternative, a national gay men's literary and political journal published in Philadelphia.
- The Cliffs of Aries (1988)
- Walking Water (1989)
- After All This (1989)
- The Boy on the Bicycle (1993-94)
- Manayunk, A History (2001)
- Gay and Lesbian Philadelphia (2002-03)
- Tropic of Libra (2003)
- Philadelphia Architecture
- Out in History